• work satisfaction;
  • nurses;
  • work attitudes

Purpose: To examine the factors that influence the work satisfaction of a national sample of registered nurses in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).

Design: A cross-sectional mailed survey design was used. The sample consisted of RNs randomly selected from 40 MSAs in 29 states; 1,907 RNs responded (48%). The sample of 1,538 RNs working in nursing was used for analysis.

Methods: The questionnaire included measures of work attitudes and demographic characteristics. The data were analyzed using ordinary least-squares regression.

Findings: More than 40% of the variance in satisfaction was explained by the various work attitudes: supervisor support, work-group cohesion, variety of work, autonomy, organizational constraint, promotional opportunities, work and family conflict, and distributive justice. RNs who were White, self-perceived as healthy, and working in nursing education were more satisfied. RNs that were more career oriented were more satisfied. Of the benefits options, only paid time off was related to satisfaction.

Conclusions: Work-related factors were significantly related to RNs' work satisfaction.